2012 is the first time I haven't voted. Anyone else?

Absentee voting in VA is… difficult, to put it mildly. In general I don’t mind having to wait in line for an hour or so to vote (I haven’t missed an election since I turned 18), but they certainly could make the process a whole lot easier. In contrast, going to the DMV in VA is relatively simple and quick, so it’s not like they couldn’t figure it out – there’s just relatively little impetus to do so.

Huh. Weird. In CA, we walk in, sign our name on our space, get a ballot, fill it in, scan it and go. The whole process is no more than 10 minutes, unless it’s after 6pm when everyone gets off work. I usually go in the morning and I’ve never had a line.

Voting day is one of my favorite days. So exciting, and so happy to have my say, even in those matters which I’m clearly the minority. I vote in 'em all, even the odd years (mayoral elections and the like).

Bullshit. Not only does he not need to make a choice between two presidential candidates he doesn’t see as different enough to differentiate between, he’s doing more of a service to the world at large by not arbitrarily picking one because something that isn’t enough to motivate him to cast a vote has to be “enough”.

Voting “just to vote” is a huge disservice to the idea of democracy. If you truly couldn’t give a fuck, stay home, watch some TV, and don’t dilute the vote of other people who actually care.

(That being said, there are at least a couple constitutional amendments for the state up for vote which are worth registering an opinion on. Also local races, including the county mayor. But it is a bit disheartening being in a state where you’re either with (generally) 75% majorities or against them. However, if he’s in district 4 and not voting in the congressional race of Matheson vs. Love, then, in my opinion, he is indeed a shitbird. I’d kill to be in that district and actually have a chance to keep Matheson, vs. being stuck in District 3’s newly re-gerrymandered boundaries and have absolutely no chance of kicking Chaffetz’s ass out the door and down the hill.)

Vote by mail is the bomb; I’ll do it every time from now on.

Ya, I’m with Mouselock here.

If you honestly do not care enough to actually want to vote for a candidate, you don’t have some “duty” to vote. Doing so does not actually benefit anyone.

Bullshit right back at you. Triggercut is right. I’m disappointed in Obama in a lot of ways, but I know where my ideology lies. I look at people in other countries risking being killed for going to the polls, and then I look at Americans who are just sitting out because they just can’t be bothered to grow up and make a decision. It’s one thing that your country asks you to do, once every four years. I’m so sorry if neither candidate gets you fired up, but the very least you could do is participate in the one thing that we tell the rest of the world they should strive for.

Rationalize it all you want with talk about swing states and how much your vote counts and whatever. In the end you’re just being a shitbird and no, that’s not too strong.

I’m voting for Obama tomorrow. In a horrid county of red votin’, gun totin’, bible thumpin’ people, I will cast my useless vote for no other reason than at least I’ll know I did the best I could do. Seriously guys, check the poll results later in Catoosa County, Georgia. If you see two votes for Obama you’ll know my wife and I both made it. If only one, well, at least one of us got there.

To rebut (politely) what Mouselock and Timex said, the “duty” is not to vote indifferently because you have to mark a paper with a pencil, it’s to be just engaged enough with the affairs of your polity to vote competently as part of your social contract.

No one has a duty to be a political animal or to be super interested in politics, but that isn’t the same thing, is it? Jury duty isn’t fun or interesting for almost anybody, but most people seem to get the point there. It’s part of your job as a grown-up and member of a wider legal-social-political entity, like it or not.

Exactly right, Jason. To ignore the price paid for our freedoms and to casually discard rights countless millions long for is tragic. If neither major party candidate for President appeals to you, vote third party (I did). If you can’t bring yourself to do that, try to influence local elections, House races, state government, propositions, or whatever. Not voting at all is a terrible choice for anyone interested and informed enough to visit an online politics forum.

They’re all very stoked for Romney, but a lot of that has to do with him being Republican and he’s also popular around here from the 2002 Olympics. So there are other reasons that they’re big Romney fans, but being a Mormon is definitely a big component.

I wouldn’t say Mormons around here have been “waiting” for a Mormon President, but I’m sure they’d all be extremely happy to have one.


Any chance you’re gonna vote now, Kevin?

I dunno that we need to bug KevinC after he stuck his neck out starting the thread - I imagine it wasn’t a happy decision.

I did remember a succinct, pithy formula about moral/political engagement that’s a bit different from the duty/social contract stuff: Rabbi Hillel’s formula:

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”

I didn’t register by the deadline (I moved recently) so it’s not an option at this point. This thread was partly made for self-castigation purposes so next cycle, if I’m similarly disengaged or apathetic, I can refer back to here for motivation or reasons to vote - most in my social group have no interest in politics so I came to P&R as I figured it’d garner more… opinionated reaction. :)

I was also curious if anyone else was in the same boat. I’m usually engaged in the political process but I realized last week that I never bothered to register after my move, something that I typically would have done straight away.

The duty here isn’t actually in the vote itself, the duty is to be at least passingly familiar with what is going on in politics in your country and state and to gather the knowledge you need to make an informed decision, THEN go make that decision (i.e. vote).

I’m not going to berate anyone for not voting. In the immortal words of RUSH, if you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice. The problem with that logic though is that the outcome of elections in this country are going to directly effect you even if you choose not to take part. Thus not taking part is basically just saying “I’ll let other people decide what is best for me”. Now other than your parents when you were a kid, can you honestly say that you trust ANYONE to make decisions for you? Watch 10 minutes of political coverage on TV and it becomes glaringly obvious that you can’t possibly trust in these lunatics to decide what color pants you should wear, much less what national policy should be on things like education, healthcare, social services, government spending, taxes and a thousand other decisions that affect you personally every day of your life.

That alone should be enough incentive for the average person to spend some time researching issues, vetting candidates and gathering knowledge to make an informed decision. I totally get that neither mainstream candidate for President may represent your ideals completely, but in recent years the two sides have become so olarized that it’s likely one of them touches on at least a few things you personally find important. So isn’t it better to go out and make that decision for yourself (even if your candidate loses) than it is to sit at home and let other people, especially those people we see on the news nightly, make the decision for you?

I saw a metric the other night that claimed 90 million Americans won’t vote today. That’s insane. 90 million people sitting at home letting someone else make decisions for them. 90 million people is a voting block that could easily turn the tide of an election. Imagine if all 90 million turned out and voted for Scooby Doo, or a Libertarian (same difference, haha!). Imagine the impact that would have. Now imagine those same 90 million people took the time to make an informed decision. Suddenly the political power in this country would be back in the hands of the people, and not just the far left/right folks who turn out at every election to vote straight party tickets based on whatever nonesense their party has fed them all year long.

All very well said, thanks.

Georgia’s pretty red, too, so my vote is unlikely to affect who gets the state’s electoral college votes, but I believe that popular vote can affect behavior in office, and I don’t want to give Romney any reason to think that he has a mandate to implement crazy changes. If he wins I want it to be by barely squeaking by in the battleground states–not by popular landslide–which it could be if folks like us stay home.

I also have local issues to vote on, but I’d vote even if the presidential election were the only question to be decided. A Republican president may erode my rights, but I won’t lose them because I was apathetic.

I would tend to think that “my vote doesn’t count” isn’t a good reason to not vote.
But if someone literally doesn’t know who to vote for, just tossing a coin and voting randomly is silly.

Folks may have a point that it’s our duty to be somewhat educated about what candidates have planned, but I think part of the problem is that lots of folks just don’t believe what the candidates say. There’s some element of, “I have no idea what this guy will actually do, and I’m afraid of voting for the wrong guy.”

Unless those misguided fuckers live in one of the states that don’t allow write-in votes and don’t have non-Dem/Repub candidates on their ballot. Then the joke’s on them!

South Dakota